Photos: Pyrotechnics assembled for fireworks show

Friday’s fireworks show over the Mississippi River will only last 18 minutes. But for the 26-year-old pyrotechnician taking over the show from his father for the second year, the 1300 or so fiery blasts over downtown Baton Rouge will mark the end of weeks of focus.

Brandon Spear grew up with fireworks as a family business. His father David Spear has done fireworks at 11 Super Bowls and two World Cups, as well as games for LSU, the New Orleans Saints and the Oklahoma City Thunder. He also started the first major fireworks company that was based in the Gulf South, and planned the annual Baton Rouge show for more than 30 years. But for the second year, he’s handing over “WBRZ’s Fireworks On The Mississippi,” Louisiana’s largest Fourth of July display, to his son.

For Brandon Spear, the main thrill comes from pleasing the crowd, and not the explosions themselves.

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